Is Missing Mass on Holy Days Sinful? This Priest Explains the Hard Truth

Flickr, Public Domain

People who willfully exempt oneself from Mass on a Holy Day carry the consequence of being in mortal sin. It is the same exact consequence for those who willfully exempt themselves from going to any Sunday Mass.

That’s right: to willfully exempt yourself from Sunday Mass is mortally sinful. Period.

I am not talking about those shut in by infirmity, hospitalization, illness, caring for an ill person, incarceration, or similar maladies.

Just because I have so busied my life with building earthly kingdoms through work and sports, or find pleasure more to my taste does not exempt me from Mass. God isn’t something else I fit into the schedule: He is the first priority.

I didn’t invent the concept of mortal sin. Really…I didn’t.

Just because mortal sin is rarely spoken of in most parishes (and hence the dearth of confession times) doesn’t mean the Church quit teaching it. Check your catechism sometime.

Let’s be honest, if spending time in worship of our Lord is too much of an inconvenience for one or two hours a week, then is our desire for heaven about union with God or just another selfish desire for personal comfort…eternal level?

I know some people’s jobs, like emergency personnel, do come with crazy hours by necessity. Everyone else–given that in many parishes there are multiple Mass times on Saturday night and Sunday, effort should be made.

I don’t want to sound indignant, but if Catholics had any clue what actually happens at the Eucharist, I would have to add masses.

Being a good pastor, I want all of my flock in heaven…and blowing off God here jeopardizes that. So a harsh truth is more needed than a comfortable lie (universalism).

Originally posted to Facebook.

[See also: “We Are Spiritually Anemic”: Why Abandoning Sacramental Life is the Root of All Problems in the Church]

[See also: Does Your Family Need Healing? Try These Powerful Prayers for Peace, Healing & Harmony]



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Fr. Bill Peckman is a priest in the Diocese of Jefferson City, Missouri. He is the pastor of Immaculate Conception Parish in Macon, St. Mary Parish in Shelbina, St. Patrick Parish in Clarence, Sacred Heart Parish in Bevier.